Urban areas, especially in developing countries, are adapting to deficits in infrastructure and basic services (Type I adaptation) and to adaptation gaps in response to current and future climatic, societal and economic change (Type II adaptation). The responses to these adaptations needs can be integrated and implemented using an “agile urban adaptation process”, i.e., an adaptive planning process quickly adapting to change in a flexible manner in short planning horizons, where the requirements and responses evolve through evolutionary development, early delivery, continuous improvement and collaboration between self-organizing and cross-functional teams. This paper focuses on how to move from the current conceptual stage to developing practical knowledge for the operation of agile urban adaptation. Scoping methodology comprises (i) understanding and structuring the adaptation context; (ii) exploring the four agile elements—balancing type I & II adaptation needs, flexibility, range of scenarios and involvement of stakeholders—in the adaptation context; (iii) a detailed SWOT analysis (strength, weakness, opportunities and threat) of adaptation responses; (iv) mapping relationships and synergies between the adaptation responses; and (v) preparing agility score cards for adaptation responses. The scoping exercise revealed that the agile adaptation process can move from concept to operation in Pune, India where the city is improving the basic services and adapting to climate change. For example: conventional adaptation responses such as city greening and check-dams across the rivers have agile characteristics; these responses are synergetic with other adaptation responses; and, there is a possibility to compare conventional adaptation responses based on agile characteristics. This scoping exercise also reveals that urban agile adaptation is not about implementing novel adaptation responses but understanding, planning and implementing conventional adaptation responses using an agile perspective. Urban agile adaptation is also about mainstreaming agile ideas using traditional adaptation responses. Hence, it is possible to apply agile the urban adaptation process using conventional adaptation responses in urban areas which address adaptation deficits related to infrastructure development as well as climate and socio-economic adaptation.
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